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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, December 10, 2010
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This Week at NASA…

The next space station crew participated in a number of pre-flight activities as they prepare for their scheduled launch Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA Flight Engineer Cady Coleman and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli are seen completing their suited and unsuited fit checks in their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft. They, along with Flight Engineer Dmitry Kondratyev, will join their crewmates already aboard the complex -- Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka, and Alexander Kaleri.

Coleman, a veteran of two shuttle flights, is excited about spending six months on orbit.

Catherine Coleman: "Getting to go on a shuttle mission is an amazing thing: leaving the planet in the space shuttle, doing whatever work there is to be done, but it’s short. And what I cannot wait for is to be up there and really live in space and be one of the people that helps carve our path forward as we learn how to live and work in space and go on to explore the universe."

Coleman and her two Soyuz crew members are scheduled to liftoff for the ISS at 2:09 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Launch coverage on NASA TV begins at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

And now, "Centerpieces"…

The first SpaceX Falcon 9 demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program lifted off on Wednesday, Dec. 8 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Launch Announcer: "We have liftoff of Falcon 9 stage one."

Known as COTS 1, the launch is the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft and the first commercial attempt to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit. The demonstration mission proved key capabilities such as launch, structural integrity of the Dragon spacecraft, on-orbit operation, re-entry, descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

This is the first of three test launches currently planned in the Falcon 9 test flight series.


Charlie Bolden: "The importance of aeronautics, the importance of science, increased funding for science, in our case, and for aeronautics and then the critical importance of education and those are areas in which we continue to work."

Administrator Charlie Bolden was joined in the NASA headquarters auditorium by German Aerospace Center (DLR) Board Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner for the sixth Masters with Masters program. Hosted by Ed Hoffman of NASA’s Academy of Program-Project and Engineering Leadership, APPEL, the two discussed their careers, international collaboration and the challenges of space exploration.

Charlie Bolden: "With international partners, everybody doesn’t’ want to do the same things. The Germans don’t have a lot of interest in Mars right now, we do. The Germans have a lot of interest in the Moon, we do but not quite to the level that they do. So, the collaboration means maybe they head up a mission that’s a lunar mission; we are in support. We head up a mission that’s a Mars mission; they are in support. And, I think you’re going to find that will be the way that we do it more and more as we go along."

Johann-Dietrich Wörner: "If you look to SOFIA, the flying infrared telescope, we have really a perfect match. It was the competence of NASA for the plane and everything, and then there was the competence of DLR giving the telescope and all this. So, it was a perfect match, and I was very happy you were not just looking for is it fifty-fifty by money, but is it something that we can do together and then we are better than each of us."

The Masters with Masters Series was created by APPEL to promote collaboration between project managers and engineering practitioners across the agency. Open discussions like are hoped to yield information and provide insights useful to NASA’s mission and well being.


Mike Duncan: "We had heard that 33 men were trapped in the size of an average living room in a home here in the United States."

Dr. Mike Duncan, one of four member of NASA’s team sent to help in the rescue of those 33 Chilean miners, gave a special presentation at NASA headquarters to discuss his and his colleagues' role in the effort.

Mike Duncan: "We talked to them about vitamin D replacement; we talked to them about latent virus reactivation; we talked to them about the psychological support that we see in taking care of astronauts in isolated, and remote, and austere environments."

Duncan, now NASA’s deputy chief medical officer, traveled with physician J.D. Polk, psychologist Al Holland and engineer Clint Cragg to the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, where they met and consulted with government officials about the men who were eventually rescued from the underground mine after 69 days.

Mike Duncan: "This is a little closer up view of the extraction capsule. I’m showing you the angle in which this capsule transited pretty much a straight shot down to the rescue chamber. And, of course, this was what it was all about. The thrill of having these men reunited with their families was really quite overwhelming at times."

Duncan's pictures included those from a special recognition ceremony with President Obama in the Oval Office acknowledging Americans involved in the rescue.

Airline and cruise ship passengers around the world will soon be watching television programming that demonstrates how NASA technology contributes to everyday life.

The Emmy award-winning "NASA 360", based at the Langley Research Center and produced by the National Institute of Aerospace, will now be part of the in-flight entertainment on airlines like U.S. Airways, Virgin America, and Singapore Airlines. International cruise ships will also show the half-hour magazine-style program as part of their video entertainment lineup.

And that's This Week at NASA!

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